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Effect of hygiene and medication on preweaning survival and growth of Djallonké sheep in Atacora, Benin

Doko, Sanni Y., Degla, Pamphile, Edoun, Gilbert O., Bosma, Roel H.
Tropical animal health and production 2012 v.45 no.1 pp. 129-134
amino acids, antibiotics, cleaning, diarrhea, disinfection, drug therapy, dry season, economic development, farmers, food security, herds, hygiene, labor, lambs, mortality, rural poverty, ticks, vitamins, water troughs, Benin
Low sheep productivity in North Benin hampers economic development, and improvement can contribute to reduction of rural poverty and food insecurity. To reduce one of the constraints to the productivity of Djallonk, sheep, high mortality during suckling in full rainy and start dry season, we tested hygienic measures and medication in improved housing. The effect of the two treatments and their combination on lamb performance and the internal rate of return (IRR) were compared to a control. For each treatment, survival and growth were observed in 20 lambs, living in 38 herds. Good housing and hygiene (daily cleaning and fortnightly disinfection of stable and water and feed troughs) reduced mortality and increased growth of suckling lambs until 3 months. Good housing plus medication (unique injection of vitamins and amino acids and with ivermectine for deworming, weekly tick treatment by spraying, and in case of diarrhea, antibiotic treatment) reduced mortality, but growth was not higher than the control. Accounting labor opportunity, the IRR was about equal for both, but capital investment was lower for the hygiene treatment which is thus more accessible to poor farmers. The combination of both treatments increased growth and benefits compared with the hygiene treatment, but decreased the IRR.